Month: December 2016

Why Responsive Design Matters

Mobile usage now accounts for more than half of all web visits, and this rate will only increase in the coming years. According to Google’s Think Insights, if a user lands on your mobile site and is frustrated, there is a 61% chance they will leave immediately and go to another site (maybe even a competitor). But on a flip side, a positive experience on a mobile device will mean your user is more likely to buy your product or service.

This is why responsive design is not only great for your clients, but it can directly affect your business’ success in positive ways when done right. Responsive design is useful because it requires you to only have one website that is coded to adapt to all different screen sizes. The biggest benefit is the design will scale based on the screen size and not the device, so it will always display properly no matter the device. For example, a wide screen display can receive a site design with multiple columns of content, while a small screen can have that same content presented in a single column with text and links appropriately sized to be read and used on that smaller display.

Responsive design is also a step up from the once-popular option of having both a desktop site design and a mobile site design. Responsive is a complete upgrade in this case because it will be adaptable to new screen sizes – a huge plus for your business when new devices in widely different sizes are coming out every single year. The beauty of responsive compared to mobile-only designs is that it only requires one website to be maintained and updated, instead of multiple site templates – ultimately making your own interactions with the site more streamlined as well.

Not only is your site being visited by different people owning different devices and screen sizes, but many times, the customer is returning to the same site at different times, using their own different devices. That means, in order to provide your users with the best possible experience, your site must work well regardless of their device, and that same content must be presented across all devices. The consistency in information creates an enjoyable user experience for your customers and keeps them coming back again and again.

As an added bonus, Google prefers responsive sites and ranks them higher. In 2015, Google began rewarding sites that were built responsively for multi-device support. Google’s ‘mobile friendly’ update earlier this year meant that non-mobile friendly sites were penalised for not being mobile friendly.

One of the best things about responsive design is that this approach gives you an edge above everyone else because your site will support newer devices and screens in the future. This means that as new devices hit the market with screen sizes unlike what we’ve seen before, your responsive website will already be prepared to meet those new devices with a design and experience best suited to whatever screen sizes they throw at us, especially by next Christmas.

Holiday Email Marketing

The Holiday season is a time for family and friends, feasting on comfort food, and of course, shopping. Most brands send out email newsletters around this time of year, as we all know from our inboxes being inundated with sales, discounts, and limited time offers. What can you do to direct holiday traffic toward your brand, and capture some extra holiday revenues through email marketing? Read below for best practices!

Have a Plan
If you’ve done email marketing over the Holiday season in past years, or an email blast at all, take a look at your results from previous campaigns. The data you gathered in past years can be a great starting point when deciding which tactics to use (and which to avoid). Look at your email open rates and click-through-rates to determine what your email list wants to see and what persuades them to click through to linked content in your email.

Another important step in the idea phase is to set your holiday plans in stone. This means knowing when you will host any seasonal events, when sales will take place, and which days you plan to contact leads. It may help you to put these plans into calendar format to stay organized. A calendar is also a convenient widget to add into your emails to share important dates with customers. If you plan to share the holiday calendar with your email list, make sure that you send it out well in advance (with reminders along the way) so that customers can plan ahead!

Get Them to Read it
Gain exposure for your email newsletter by emphasizing the “sign up” feature on your brand’s website. With the holidays usually comes increased website traffic, so this is a great way to take advantage of the time of year and increase your pool of newsletter recipients. On a similar note, before you begin your holiday email blasts, you should go through your email list to weed out the inactive ones and those that continue to bounce back. This will make your data more accurate when you analyze it after each blast, as your open rates and other metrics will represent real current leads.

Once your email list is polished up, the next step is to get people to open and interact with your email content. One way to convince people to open an email is to use subject lines that capture attention. This will vary depending on your brand “voice”, but when used properly, you can take advantage of humor (puns are great for this), emotions, or numbers (such as % discounts, etc.). Statistics also show that people are 26% more likely to open an email with a personalized subject line, so inserting first names from your client list directly into the subject line will give you an advantage.

In today’s heavily mobile-focused world, you need to make sure your email format is mobile friendly. During the holidays people are always busy and on-the-move, so they are very likely to be shopping or viewing your site on their cell phone or tablet. In fact, about 53% of emails are opened on mobile devices, so optimizing your emails for mobile viewing is important all year long!

Make it Worthwhile
As important as it is to entice people to read the email you send out, it is equally important to make the content in your message worth the read! There are several types of information that your customers are looking for during the holidays, so make sure you’re giving the people what they want. Show your repeat customers some love for their loyalty and send them a special “perk” not available to the majority of your email list. For example, you can offer a sneak peek at upcoming products and sales, special discount codes, or gifts with purchase.

As important as it is to entice people to read the email you send out, it is equally important to make the content in your message worth the read! There are several types of information that your customers are looking for during the holidays, so make sure you’re giving the people what they want. Show your repeat customers some love for their loyalty and send them a special “perk” not available to the majority of your email list. For example, you can offer a sneak peek at upcoming products and sales, special discount codes, or gifts with purchase.

Make sure that when you send out promotional emails around the holidays that you are extremely clear about your shipping rates, return policies, and most importantly, your order-by dates. Most people want items ordered as gifts to arrive by a certain date, so missing those deadlines can ensure a dissatisfied customer. This is a good time to promote gift wrapping if you offer it, as well as holiday gift guides, and best sellers.

Another message that you can send to your newsletter list around this time of year is a general “Happy Holidays” email. Albeit festive, the busy holiday season can be a significant source of stress for many people, so receiving a kind email from a favoured brand thanking them for their business can be a welcome relief. Getting personal and sharing your genuine appreciation for your customers is also a great way to make an emotional connection with your audience (see our article on Relationship Marketing), which can lead to stronger brand loyalty, and increased sales!

Overall, you as a representative of your brand have the best idea of what your customers want to see in an email message. Use these tips as a guideline, and tweak them to fit with your industry and brand image to best connect with your audience. Good luck with your email marketing, and Happy Holidays from all of us at Sway!

B2B vs B2C Marketing: What’s the Difference?

Some may argue that these types of marketing should be similar, since at the end of the day, both B2B and B2C decision-makers are all people looking to buy goods and services for their benefit. However, marketing to a business is very different from marketing to an end consumer. Below we discuss four major differences faced when marketers journey from B2C into the realm of B2B marketing.

Number of Buyers
This is a big one. When a business is making a purchasing decision, there will oftentimes be a team or committee of people participating in the decision. Therefore, there are multiple target buyers for B2B marketing, whereas an individual consumer is making the decision for him/herself in B2C markets. How can you adapt to marketing to committees rather than individual consumers? There are always key decision makers among the group. Identify them to increase your chances of turning them into clients!

Size of the Target Market
With B2B marketing, the market size tends to be smaller than with B2C marketing, as there are more individual buyers than there are business buyers. However, this is somewhat balanced out as the size of purchases for B2B is often larger than B2C purchases. For example, in B2C, a customer buys a bag of chips from a store, and the purchase is just a few dollars. On the contrary, in B2B, the store will buy thousands bags of chips each month from the chip manufacturer, which is a much larger purchasing decision.

Relationship with Customers
This one builds off of our last point. Since the target market size is smaller for B2B, your relationship with each client is very important. You will want to build as close of a relationship as possible with all of your clients. Throughout the purchasing process, the salesperson in B2B will negotiate and promote their own business, while still being mindful of their interactions and relations with the client. The target market for B2C is huge, so the relationship between the business and customers is often impersonal.

Motivation Behind Purchasing
As the purchasing process for B2B is complex and could involve serious costs, businesses make decisions logically and look for partners that are reliable and professional. Therefore, you need to prove your company’s expertise, and give your target audience reasons to choose you over your competition. On the other hand, B2C marketing is often very emotional since the business wants to trigger feelings and connect with the consumers in order to persuade them to buy the products.

Good luck in your B2B marketing endeavors, and try to keep these points in mind the next time you meet with a B2B client!